Yesterday I began a little serialized blog about the conflict of visions between those who maintain there is no secret space program, nor any pool of hidden and viable alternative technologies to the chemical rocket, and those who maintain the contrary. We left off with the mention of Dr. Paul LaViolette's book Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and Classified Aerospace Technology. While a review of this important book would be impossible here, it is worth exploring the allegations made in its thirteenth chapter, titled "Black Hole Discovered at NASA."
In this chapter of his book, Dr. LaViolette recounts how in 1989, then President G.H.W. Bush proposed an ambitious plan of solar system exploration and a permanent human base on the Moon, and a human landing on Mars by 2014(woops...missed that one, or did we?!). As LaViolette recounts, shortly after this Kennedy-esque announcement, then Vice President Dan Quayle of "potatoe" fame, who was the chairman of the National Space Council, requested "that NASA 'cast a net widely to find the most innovative ideas in the country; for carrying out the initiative. Thus was born the Space Exploration Outreach Program(SEOP)." (LaViolette, Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, p. 378)
LaViolette goes on to note that he was one of 45,300 persons who received a flyer in the mail "describing SEOP" and requesting they contribute their ideas, which, interestingly enough, had to be sent to that well-known interface between public and secret programs, the RAND Corporation. Ideas were submitted in twelve categories, ranging from mission concepts and architectures to simulation and testing, and "miscellaneous."(LaViolette, op. cit., p. 379)
LaViolette responded by outlining the vast amount of detail and patents he has crammed into his book, and then states this:
I noted that development work on electrogravitic propulsion is currently in progress at major aerospace companies, but that the work is restricted by military classification. Furthermore, I explained that application of electrogravitic technology to NASA's space program to replace outmoded rocket propulsion technology would entail a minimal amount of R&D if aircraft designs already perfected in the military aerospace sector could be declassified. Hence, the issue would not be one of technological feasibility, but rather one of political decision - the decision to declassify an advanced technology already in existence.(LaViolette, op. cit., pp. 379-380)
That was where the black hole began, for when RAND issued its summary report of the 1,697 people who responded to the SEOP mailer, there was no mention of electrogravitics or any other similar exotic concept or alleged technology.(Ibid., p. 380) Contacting RAND, LaViolette discovered he was not allowed to speak directly to anyone that screened the submissions or issued the final report. He did discover, however, a report that summarized the submissions in the third category covering space propulsion systems. Naturally curious on what was in the papers submitted by his colleagues, Dr. LaViolette attempted to gain access to those submissions, but RAND informed him the papers had been turned over to NASA, and NASA was "not of much help either."(Ibid., p. 383).
Finally, LaViolette was able to learn that two submissions - his own and that of a Mr. Joe Hughes - had outlined electrogravitics and the experiments of American physicist Thomas Townsend Brown.(Ibid., p. 384). Yet another submission, LaViolette learned, concerned the disc-shaped "generators" of British inventor John Searle, which by every story every encountered in reference to them, levitated. This submission also detailed the work of two Russians, Roshchin and Godin, who were duplicating Searle's work in Russia "on a shoestring budget."(Ibid., p. 384) Other submissions, LaViolette learned (nos 100105, 100136, 100174, and 101570) outlined cases that NASA should look into gyroscopic intertial drives, and one submission even included the US Patent of Robert Cook, number 4,238,968, for emphasis. (Ibid., p. 384)
These considerations led LaViolette to write in his book:
If NASA was asked to "cast a net widely to find the most innovative ideas in the country," why had these ideas not been considered? Had RAND selected panelists who were grossly inept, scientists with tunnel vision who callously weeded out some of the best ideas of the bunch just because they did not fit standard textbook theories, or was there a concerted effort to exclude such ideas in the name of nationals security? The latter seems more likely since the RAND Corporation, which has a history of being involved in intelligence projects and weapons development, is said to be a front organization for the Central Intelligence Agency."(Ibid., p. 389)
That wasn't, however, all there was to the story, but for that, we have to wait until tomorrow.
See you on the flip side.